Special Olympics

Kyle Spearing strikes gold at Special Olympics golf tournament



By Ron Giofu


A local Special Olympian has struck gold on the links.

Kyle Spearing, 25, won the gold medal at the Special Olympics North America (SONA) golf tournament. He competed in the level five, division six category.

The tournament was held June 26-28 in Seattle.

Spearing, who shot 103, 99 and 91 in his three rounds, said “it was really cool” to come home with the gold medal in his division. He attributed his improvements over the three days to not being as nervous as the tournament went on.

Spearing said he wasn’t sure how he placed until organizers called the winners up and arranged them according to how they finished.

“They put is in place and I sat in the first place chair,” said Spearing.

This was his biggest finish yet at a SONA golf tournament, as Spearing also has two silver medals to his credit. He said he has been golfing for about ten years, the last six of which have been with coach Cory Lajeunesse at Sutton Creek Golf Club.

Spearing said he golfs multiple times per week. He said he is at Sutton Creek “mostly every day, when I’m not working, I’m here practicing and playing.”

“He’s playing four times per week, maybe five,” said Lajeunesse. “He gets his fair share of golf in.”

Spearing added his parents made the trip to Seattle, which made the experience even more special.

Lajeunesse said the SONA golf tournament is the biggest championships between the United States and Canada outside of the world championships.

Kyle Spearing won gold at the recent SONA golf tournament in Seattle, Washington. He competed in level five, division six.

Kyle Spearing won gold at the recent SONA golf tournament in Seattle, Washington. He competed in level five, division six.

“It was unique this year because they didn’t pair you with players in your division,” Lajeunesse stated. “This year, they split us up.”

Lajeunesse knew that Spearing was down two shots heading into the final round. The eventual silver medalist shot 99, 101 and 95 over the three days. He said they learned about five minutes before the actual medal presentation that Spearing won the gold.

“I think he got more comfortable with the course,” Lajeunesse said of the improvement over the three days.

Lajeunesse worked with Spearing each day on what he had to do and how he had to prepare.

“In the end, it all comes down to the short game,” said Lajeunesse.

They won’t have too much time to rest on laurels, as Spearing will be golfing in the Special Olympics provincial tournament in Mississauga this weekend. If he does well there, he could qualify for the national golf tournament which will be next year.

Law Enforcement Torch Run comes through Amherstburg



By RTT Staff


It was wet, it was colder than normal but that didn’t stop law enforcement officers from taking part in the annual Torch Run.

Officers from the Amherstburg Police Service joined their colleagues from around the area in participating in this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run, with the run taking place in last Thursday’s pouring rain.

The Amherstburg leg of the Torch Run featured a different route this year, as it started at Joe Meloche Ford and finished up at Community Living Essex County’s Channel Resource Centre, located on Bathurst St. The previous route saw them start at the Amherstburg police station and end at Joe Meloche Ford.

Const. Steve Owen, the community services officer with Amherstburg police, said the routes were changed up for 2017.

“We wanted to have more stops, hit more people and use shorter distances,” said Owen, noting they ran 14 kilometres in total.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run came through Amherstburg May 4, where it made a stop at Channel Resource Centre.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run came through Amherstburg May 4, where it made a stop at Channel Resource Centre.

They also wanted to run past high schools and elementary schools, Owen added.

“The whole purpose is to raise awareness for Special Olympics,” he stated.

Despite the rain, Owen said during the Amherstburg stop that the run was going well. In all, there were runs in Leamington, Kingsville, Belle River, Tecumseh, Windsor and LaSalle with it concluding in Essex.

A fundraising total was not currently available, as Owen noted that they are still raising money.

“We’re still collecting funds,” said Owen. “Money is still coming in.”

The 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run also marked the final one for Sgt. Mike Cox. Cox, a local leader in raising money for Special Olympics, has stated this was his last one after running for the last 29 years.

Torch Run hitting the streets next Wednesday



By RTT Staff


The Law Enforcement Torch Run returns to Windsor-Essex County for its 2016 edition next Wednesday.

The torch and the police officers involved in the run will be involving a number of municipalities in the region with Amherstburg being one of them. Sgt. Mike Cox, who works with Sgt. Melissa Taylor in organizing local Torch Run efforts, estimated the bus with the participants should arrive in Amherstburg around 12:30 p.m.

In the meantime, a barbecue will be held at the Amherstburg police station where the public is invited for lunch. A group from Community Living Essex County’s Channel Resource Centre will also be on hand for the barbecue.

Cox said additional runners are welcome. A gym class from General Amherst High School is expected to join the run, Cox added. The run itself is expected to start at 1 p.m. and go from the police station to Joe Meloche Ford.

The Windsor-Essex County Torch Run gets underway in Tecumseh at 8 a.m. All proceeds benefit Ontario Special Olympics.

Flag raised at Navy Yard Park to promote Ontario Special Olympics



The Knights of Columbus held a flag raising ceremony Saturday morning in Navy Yard Park to help create awareness for Special Olympics.

The Knights of Columbus held a flag raising ceremony Saturday morning in Navy Yard Park to help create awareness for Special Olympics.

By Ron Giofu


The Special Olympics Provincial Youth Games will be in Durham June 1-2 but the road to those games included a stop in Amherstburg.

Reg Campbell, District Deputy of Knights of Columbus District 21, said that Ontario Knights of Columbus Councils are participating in a “flag relay” to raise public awareness of Special Olympics and the Knights’ involvement and support for this worthwhile cause. Six flags in locations around Ontario started a journey to the Special Olympics with Essex County being one of the locations.

A flag raising ceremony was held in Navy Yard Park Saturday morning to help promote the cause with K of C councils from Leamington, Kingsville, Harrow and Amherstburg on hand for the event. Special Olympians, many from the LaSalle Spirit athletic club, were on hand to help raise the flag as was Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

DiCarlo, along with all members of council, signed another flag during a break at the Jan. 4 council meeting where the town gave its approval for the ceremony to be held. Members of the public were invited to sign the flag as well during Saturday’s event.

“The Knights of Columbus have sponsored and have been strong supporters of Special Olympics for a number of years,” said Campbell.

Campbell said their goal is to bring awareness of Special Olympics to the communities in which they have councils.

Curtis Scott, London West Diocesan chair, agreed that the flag raising ceremony was a way to increase exposure of Special Olympics and the Knights of Columbus’ involvement in supporting it.

“The Knights have been involved since Day 1,” said Scott. “A lot of people don’t realize that.”

“We’re stepping out of the shadows,” added Campbell.

Janet Morton and Tracy Cormier, coaches and co-organizers with the LaSalle Spirit, said they have roughly 150 athletes in 11 sports with 65-70 coaches. They have athletes going to Newfoundland and the Canada games with the hopes of qualifying for the Special Olympics world games.

DiCarlo said the town is grateful to the Knights of Columbus for bringing the flag raising ceremony to Amherstburg.

“Special Olympics touches a lot of people,” said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo added the town offers the best of luck to the Special Olympians and thanked those involved for making the flag raising ceremony a reality.